Several single artist exhibitions are now planned in the year ahead – including Moscow, Paris, Toronto, New York, Cincinnati and LA. Closer to home, in the final third of this year, we will have a show in a brand new gallery in Notting Hill, London, and we will be in touch with details imminently. We will also be showing in East Hampton, Chicago and Turin before the year ends.
But there is no doubt now that our largest show in the final third of the year will be in Oslo, Norway. Galleri Fine Art, in the heart of the city’s cutting edge Tjuvholmen district, is the highest selling art gallery in Norway and we are honoured to be working with them. We visited the space in June and are so excited about the venue. There is certainly no better gallery for us in the whole of Scandinavia.
To be given such a large single artist show in this historied and sophisticated city is affirming and we will not let our new Norwegian friends down. We will be showing over 65 images – including some new photographs for the first time, in this most impressive of art spaces. The show will run from late September for over a month and I sense that it is going to rock. We can’t wait!
The whole DYP team will be operating out of Oslo for the week beginning 18th September and there will be many events that week on days either side of the official opening on Thursday 21st September. I hope that some of my close friends in and outside photography, as well as my wider family, will travel from the UK. Over 1000 guests will be expected the night of the 21st alone – luckily it’s a big gallery.
The gallery is actually right next to one of Europe’s most acclaimed design hotels – “The Thief” and we will be based there all week. Anyone that fancies a long weekend in what The New York Times called “the most opulent hotel in Scandinavia”, here is the perfect excuse – come and join us. Let us know on the info line and we can arrange invitations for the events. We have also block booked many rooms at The Thief for the Thursday and the Friday night.
At the end of July, I will travel from Beijing to Pyongyang as a welcome guest of the DRPK. This assignment has been preceded by six months of negotiation in London with the North Korean Embassy as well as connected MEPs in Brussels. The prep work culminated in the trip’s full approval from Pyongyang a few weeks ago. I know that some consider this to be a bridge too far and dangerous and I am touched that so many people are genuinely concerned for my safety. There is a view that I should wait until the sabre rattling between Trump and Kim Jong-un abates.
I see the situation differently – this is the right assignment for me at exactly the right time. The holy grail for a photographer is relevance and this is certainly about as relevant as it gets in 2017. I relentlessly challenge myself and pushing boundaries is pivotal to my thought process. Working with elephants and lions touches on relevance, because they are both endangered species and I enjoy raising awareness. I also strive for my work to be art rather than reportage and this is a more accommodating space for the examination of worth. But whether wildlife photography per se, crosses that threshold of being relevant, is a moot point and this vexes me.
I go to North Korea as an artist not as a reportage photographer and the thin line between the two was central to my conversations with the North Korean officials. I am certainly not going to photograph military parades or nuclear testing sites and I am not going there to report back. I am drawn to cities on the east coast – where very few westerners have been able to photograph and study daily life. Access and authority have been granted and I am excited about the huge potential offered by the canvas of the most inaccessible communities in the world. I go with no real preconceptions, but L S Lowry’s work in industrial Britain will certainly serve as an inspiration to me in my time over there.